Guest Blog: London Rookie Tournament

by guest blogger Nick Iwanyshyn, with comments from Bonk's Mullet

Nick (a freelance photographer) contacted me with the proposition of doing a photo blog of the Sens rookie game in London. He didn't end up getting a press pass to the event, but I thought it could be fun to see the game from a fan's perspective anyway. My thoughts are in bold. Click the images to enlarge them.

I traveled to beautiful London, Ontario for the rookie tournament with my live-in best friend.

Our British readers just panicked at the sight of this photo.
Either Nick's roommate is a Leafs fan or we're going to have to have a talk with Nick.
I decided to scribble a few of my thoughts down for the pals over at, this is what I came up with:

Not knowing what to expect, we agreed that both teams looked a bit shaky out of the gate. Not sure if it was the big bad battle of Ontario pressure, but the game started off quite slow.

I'm assuming the lack of fans is purely because due to upholding Toronto's seating traditions; a form of home advantage if you will.

The boys in blue got on the board first with a high slot shot by forward Stuart Percy, during what may have been only the fourth time they had entered the Senators zone all night. The Leafs' second goal came on only their second shot on an overall atrocious power play. Despite putting two in the net, it looked like Toronto could have used a hand from the refs.

To be fair to the Leafs, it looks like the Sens did have a bit of a numbers advantage.

For anyone playing along at home, I'm taking guesses on what their zone possession time was. I'm going to guess at least 70 percent of the first period was spent in Leaf territory. In my opinion, the score sheet did not reflect the little effort put forth on the ice after 20 minutes.

Early in the second, just as I was thinking "what was all this hype about Shane Prince?" he put the Senators on the board, snapping a shot on his own rebound to beat Toronto goaltender Antoine Bibeau. I quickly understood the hype, as he scored another to tie it at two a piece. That's how the second period ended, giving me and my dirty Leaf fan roommate hope for an exciting third.

Every single one of these men is named Gord.

Both teams looked to be much more relaxed down the home stretch. Some would say it was the closest thing to a back an fourth we had seen all night, then Mark Stone opened the flood gates. Stone put in a beauty short handed goal from a Trevor Murphy give-away at centre. Toronto fans in attendance didn't like that much, and started a "go Leafs go" chant.

Leafs fans in attendance shocked to learn their franchise has enough prospects to ice a team 

The spectator effort was quickly met with two back-to-back Vincent Dunn goals. The first of the two was fairly weak; I was a bit shocked every time an Ottawa shot didn't somehow make it to the back of the net after that one. Seemed like it was all over at that point. The rest of the game was a blur. The Leafs rookie squad turned their focus to putting folks into the boards and there was little hope left for a comeback.

Looks like Andy put on a few pounds in the off-season.

By the sound of the final buzzer it was a poor Toronto effort, sprinkled with a few individual Ottawa overachievers, that gave the Senators the title of "rookie battle of Ontario world champions." I wouldn't say Ottawa played their best game of the weekend, but that's up for debate after seeing the 6-2 final.

Sens prospects celebrate the last time they'll beat the Leafs in a game of any significance
Thanks for reading!

Nick (and RBM)
Powered by Blogger.